Dr. Jacob Skiwski
Children’s Health Center of Columbus
If You’re Trying to Conceive, Act as If You’re Pregnant Now

by Jane Ehrhardt

By the time you learn you’re pregnant, your baby’s already been growing for weeks, if not a few months. So why wait to change those habits you know may be harmful during pregnancy. Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you try to conceive.

Look at the pills. “If you’re on blood pressure medication, or any prescriptions, prior to pregnancy and attempting to conceive, get with your OB/GYN and review your medications,” says Erika Tanner, MD, with Madison OB/GYN Associates in Canton, Mississippi. For instance, several types of blood pressure prescriptions are not safe when pregnant.

Folic acid. Start taking 400 mcg daily of folic acid now. “Fetal organs start to develop at eight weeks of pregnancy,” says Dr. Tanner. “So by the time women find out they’re pregnant, it’s often after the organ genesis portion of the pregnancy has started. Start supplements before conceiving, so they’re not missed during that important time.”

Catch of the day. “Certain seafood has higher mercury levels than others, so make sure you’re aware of types and portions,” says Dr. Tanner. For instance, tuna has higher levels of mercury than other types of fish.

“Visit your OB/GYN for counseling while you’re trying to conceive, so you can investigate your family history and know what things can be passed on to the child, like cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and birth defects.” suggests Dr. Tanner. “It’s good to know now where you stand with those things.”

Pretty colors. We know you’ll want to ready a nursery, but paint fumes can be harmful during pregnancy. “Make sure if you’re painting, you use water-based paints and create adequate airflow through the room,” says Dr. Tanner.

Raise a glass! Just not of alcohol or caffeine. “Studies show that increased caffeine can lead to increased risk of preterm labor, low birth weight, and miscarriage,” warns Dr. Tanner. You don’t need to cut out coffee completely but don’t have more than 2 8-ounce cups a day. Watch out for caffeine in soft drinks and teas too.

The main thing. “Start a prenatal vitamin. It has the main components you’ll need before you even know you are pregnant,” advises Dr. Tanner. “And there’s nothing wrong with treating your body as if it’s pregnant before you know for sure.”

To read more about Dr. Erika Tanner, click here.
For more on Madison OB/GYN Associates in Canton, click here.

This article written and brought to you by MississippiDoctors.com.